Jane is one of our fantastic volunteer receptionists, giving visitors to our hospice site with a warm welcome and friendly face. Here, Jane explains her personal reasons for volunteering at a hospice.

I volunteer on the Reception Desk once a week where I meet and greet patients and their families who may be attending consultations, patient groups, complementary therapy sessions or counseling.  I greet clinical staff and anyone else visiting the hospice. I welcome them and offer tea or coffee, and help in any way I can. I answer the phone and deal with any general enquiries. I like to be busy so I am happy to help wherever help is needed!

I also play the piano for some of the patient group music sessions  which are organized by other volunteers. It’s great fun with patients and volunteers participating and contributing to events such as St David’s Day, the Christmas Sing Song and Songs from the Shows. Playing for the group has enabled me to get to know other volunteers too, as well as some of the patients. Music is wonderful to bring people together and those afternoons are full of fun and laughter.  

Before I retired I was a headteacher in a big, multi cultural primary school.  My job involved dealing with children and their families, staff, local authority personnel, buildings contractors, and many other outside agencies. There was never a spare minute in the day and I loved working with people. I became a volunteer shortly after I retired but more recently, my Mum was cared for in a hospice and I got to see it from the inside and now I really understand how that involvement  and support can make a big difference to a family at such a time in their lives .

The best part of volunteering is knowing that I am using my skills and experience to support the wonderful work of the hospice. Playing the piano for the patient groups is good for me too because it makes me practise at home (which I probably wouldn’t do otherwise)! I find it very rewarding.

Since becoming a volunteer, I have learnt that good health and life is precious and it is so important not to take things for granted and to cherish the simple things in life that you share with family and friends. That’s what matters most of all.

Volunteering for just a few hours a week is satisfying, rewarding and, on occasions, very humbling. I would say to anyone thinking about becoming a volunteer to come in, talk to us and give it a try. Unless you try it, you won’t know if it’s for you! Better to try than not to try at all!

If you're interested in volunteering with us, check out our current volunteer opportunities.